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36 Free Nonprofit Resources to Bookmark

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Published January 4, 2019 Reading Time: 9 minutes

Here at Classy, we work to be at the forefront of nonprofit knowledge and provide valuable resources for the social impact space. We know it can be difficult, however, for any busy professional to stay on top of best practices, so to keep you from missing out on valuable content we’ve rounded up a few fan favorites all in one place.

Below are our most popular guides of all time for fundraisers, marketers, and leaders. Bookmark this page so you can refer back to these resources whenever you need.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the latest nonprofit insights live at the Collaborative this year.

Top Guides for Fundraisers

1. Anatomy of a Successful Fundraiser

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In this guide, we dissect 10 successful fundraising campaigns and the strategies that blew their goals out of the water. From new ideas for email tracks to motivating fundraisers, you’re bound to find a new tactic that will bolster your own results.

2. The Pocket Guide to Fundraising Psychology

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Updated with the latest research, this guide explores the strategies that make your donors tick. Learn how to get inside their heads and encourage them to give.


3. The Donor Retention Handbook (Now Available as an Audiobook)

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It costs about five times more to acquire a new donor than to retain one. In this guide, you’ll discover money-saving strategies that will help you deliver what your supporters want, when they want—and keep them coming back.


4. A Comprehensive Guide to Nonprofit Welcome Emails

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First impressions can make or break any budding relationship. Learn how to put your best foot forward and tailor your approach for first-time donors, third-party donors, and event attendees.


5. The Nonprofit’s Guide to Recurring Giving

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The average recurring donor donates 42 percent more than the average one-time donor. Grow a community of avid supporters who provide a reliable stream of revenue year-round.


6. The Four Phases of an Effective Peer-to-Peer Campaign

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A well-structured peer-to-peer campaign will help you anticipate any challenges and rise above them with ease. Learn how to prepare for each stage of your campaign and keep supporters engaged, all the way through.


7. The Nonprofit’s Guide to Pitching to Corporate Sponsors

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This guide will help you identify potential partners, nail your pitch, and secure a lasting relationship.


8. How to Create a Successful Year-Round Fundraising Strategy

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A purposeful fundraising strategy keeps your team motivated, holds you accountable, and unifies your team around larger goals. Get tips and tools to craft your year-long game plan, as well as a diagram to help you get it all on one, comprehensive page.


9. Bigger and Better: How to Grow Your Run/Walk

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Learn how to create a strategy that grows your event and guarantees a remarkable attendee experience.


10. A Year of Creative Fundraising Ideas

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From pub crawls to surf competitions, this list of 100 seasonal event ideas will help you keep supporters excited and engaged, all year long. Comb through each season and choose events to fill the gaps in your fundraising strategy and raise more money.

11. 10 #GivingTuesday Email Templates

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We’ve done the work for you. Use these 10 templates to map out your email strategy leading up to the big day.


12. The Guide to Holiday Fundraising

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Around 30 percent of annual giving occurs in December. Learn how to manage your year-end appeals and events, and how to incorporate peer-to-peer fundraising to achieve next level holiday results.

13. The Year-End Fundraising Checklist

year-end fundraising checklistEnd of year giving is the most lucrative time for nonprofits, so start thinking about your year-end campaign now! This free checklist will help your team set your campaign focus, goals, timeline, and includes tips on key elements like segmenting your communications and nonprofit storytelling.

14. The Ticketed Event Page Cheat Sheet

the ticketed event page cheat sheet

All nonprofit events share a few common goals: to raise money, increase awareness, and foster relationships with supporters. To achieve these goals, you need an eye-catching and informative campaign page.

This step-by-step guide will show your team how to create an engaging event page with clean design and optimized conversion points.

Top Guides for Marketers

15. The Guide to a Modern Nonprofit

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Organizations need to enter the modern age of marketing and fundraising in order to meet donor expectations. In this guide, learn about the latest fundraising models and the steps you can take to update your brand, online presence, and communication.


16. The Guide to Nonprofit Storytelling

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There’s nothing like powerful storytelling to stir the emotions and encourage giving. Dig into the elements of a good story, different mediums and tools for storytelling, and the inspiration you need to get started.


17. A Nonprofit’s Guide to Customer Service

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Some of the most successful for-profit companies, such as Zappos, were built around a customer-centric focus. Use this guide to delight your donors and reap similar rewards.


18. Design Basics for Nonprofit Professionals

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When your entire team understands design basics, it helps protect your unique brand and style. In this guide you’ll learn trends and standards that help you establish brand identity, boost engagement, and more.


19. The Ultimate Guide to PR for Nonprofits

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As the PR landscape shifts for nonprofits, you can use this guide to take PR into your own hands and build an effective strategy—either in-house or with an agency—and get your story noticed.


20. The Nonprofit’s Guide to Google Ad Grants

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Google offers $10,000 in free advertising to nonprofit organizations. Get everything you need to set up an account and create a campaign, as well as convert traffic into committed support.


21. Digital Terms Glossary for Nonprofits

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Get the lowdown on over 50 terms specific to digital marketers to ensure you keep pace with the industry.


22. The BIG Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits

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When it comes to social media, your growth and engagement strategies should differ from channel to channel. This guide includes key stats and trends that will help you select the right platforms and build communities of support on each one.


23. Email Templates for Nonprofit Annual Communication Plan

23. Email Templates for Nonprofit Annual Communication Plan

Use the email templates in this guide to engage your donors, raise cause awareness, and build your brand with a holistic communications plan that will balance your appeals with donor delight and appreciation.

24. The 10-Week Social Media Event Promotion Plan

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Posting on social media is a great way to promote a nonprofit event. You can share photos, videos, and information with supporters who can easily share with their own networks. Additionally, you can include direct links to register, donate, or purchase tickets. Use this interactive worksheet to learn how to best leverage social media to promote your next event.

Top Guides for CEOs and Founders

25. Guide to Annual Reports for Nonprofit Organizations

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Gone are the days of the boring, text-filled annual report. Learn how to make the information you share so engaging it moves readers to action.


26. The Pocket Guide to Professional Development

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Learn how to create meaningful goals, gain further expertise, and expand your professional network in a way that purposefully drives you forward.


27. Money for Your Mission: Emerging Models for Success

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Why are so many of the nonprofits tackling the world’s largest problems, subscale? Discover new models of funding that are addressing this issue and allowing social impact organizations to attract investors and achieve greater impact.


28. A Leader’s Guide to Motivating Employees

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Leverage the science of organizational behavior in order to motivate your team. In this guide, you’ll learn about effective team structures and what incentivizes employees to act in certain ways so that you can achieve your collective goals.


29. The Guide to Meaningful Nonprofit Metrics

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Get the scoop on the communication, development, and impact metrics your organization shoulder monitor to assess its overall health. Packed with industry benchmarks and helpful tips, this guide will grant insight around your performance and inform your future strategies.

30. SWOT Analysis Worksheet

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A SWOT analysis is a framework to analyze a business or organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. To help your nonprofit create the most efficient fundraising strategy, download the worksheet, discuss the included prompts, and use your findings to plan your annual strategy.

31. The Nonprofit Growth Guide

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Learn specific strategies for growth from eight nonprofits that saw incredible year-over-year growth on Classy. This guide outlines what growth looks like, from setting a goal through measuring its success as well as tangible tips on how your nonprofit can improve and optimize your donation pages, fundraising appeals, and more.

32. A Nonprofit’s Guide to Hiring

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Hiring the right people is never easy, but nonprofit professionals can be particularly tricky to track down. This guide will teach you how to set clear expectations and assign responsibilities to hiring teams, keep your nonprofit moving forward during the process, and how to hire for those critical development positions. It also includes an overview of the interview process and interactive templates and resources to help you secure your next rockstar candidate.

33. The State of Modern Philanthropy

the state of modern philanthropy Classy’s team of data scientists created The State of Modern Philanthropy to share online and mobile fundraising trends, donor behavior insights, and Classy platform benchmarks. To learn more about these topics and more, download the report for free below.

34. Why America Gives: How Current Events, Technology, and Seasonality Impact Donor Plans

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Why do people donate? What prevents someone from making a donation? In an effort to answer these tough questions, Classy commissioned a consumer survey on donor motivation and created this must-read report with the results. Download the full report to learn what factors consumers say impact their decision-making process when it comes to charitable giving.

35. The Quick Start Guide to Data-Driven Fundraising

the quick start guideGathering and analyzing data allows your nonprofit to make solid decisions based on concrete knowledge. Find out which data you should track and how to execute on a data-driven strategy with the information and use cases in this guide.

36. The Annual Report Checklist

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Your annual report demonstrates your impact, progress, and accomplishments to existing donors, corporate partners, and potential supporters. Use this interactive checklist to outline your goals, define your audience, and narrow down your content to create a succinct, impactful annual report.

Be sure to check back on this page regularly. We’ll update it with new content and fan favorites so you stay at the forefront of nonprofit industry knowledge.

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